Stands for Electric Compulsive Therapy.
An electric current is sent through the brain to jolt it into treating disorders (mainly depression but is used for schizophrenia as well). Patients are given a muscle relaxant before hand as the body goes into a state of fits in the process; this stops any harm to the patient from the physical reaction.
As a result of ECT patients may be confused and suffer memory loss after the treatment, as well as nausea and being disorientated.
ECT is used as a last resort treatment as it can be dangerous and it's still not clear how it actaually works and treats mental illnesses.
The surge of electricity is passed through from half a second to 4 seconds, and patients are usually given 2-3 treatments a week for a period of up to 12 weeks.
ECT - Evalutation
- S - The appropriateness of ECT may be questioned.
- E - Between 20-50% of schizophrenics who respond well to ECT relapse within 6 months.
- E - This means that ECT cannot be a long term solution as relapse rates are high.
- L - This therefore weakens the appropriateness of the treatment for schizophrenia.
- S - ECT is effective for schizophrenia.
- E - Thariyan and Adams (2005) found ECT to be better than no treatmet in the long term,
- E - Indicates that although ECT may not be the first option, it's still effective to an extent.
- L - This supports ECT as a treatment for schizophrenia.
- S - ECT may pose ethical issues.
- E - As patients have schizophrenia it may be said that they're not at a correct state to give their consent to have ECT as they may not have a full understanding of the consequences.
- E - ECT can also be done without a patient's consent, meaning that its nature is ethically sensitive.
- L - This questions the appropriateness of ECT as a treatment for schizophrenia.
- S - ECT isn't fully effective.
- E - Fisk (1997) ECT has sucess rates of 60-80&, but only effective against some types of schizophrenic symptoms.
- E - This suggests that other treatments are needed to fill the gaps ECT leaves.
- L - This shows that ECT cannot fully treat al schizophrenic symptoms.